THE BLOG
11/03/2014 03:38 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

According to Jesus the Real Issue Isn't the Lack of Morals -- It's the Abundance of Hypocrisy

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When Jesus walked the earth, his focus was ultimately on showing people that the problem in the world is not the lack of morals, but the abundance of hypocrisy. When he pointed the finger to make the problem of hypocrisy clear, his finger wasn't aimed at the outsiders, it was aimed squarely at the religious, and it was to make something clear to them. You see, the Pharisees could see their moral standard and were proud of it, yet they were blind to their hypocritical worldview and lifestyle.

Jesus himself went head to head with the Pharisees and exposed their judgmental hypocrisy. He pushed them as far as he could to expose their hypocrisy to their own hearts and minds. Why did Jesus do that? I believe he did it to reveal to them and to us that the greatest threat any follower of God faces is not the temptation to sin morally; rather, it is the temptation of using God's name to become judgmental towards others. When a follower of God falls into this temptation, they also fall into a lifestyle of continual hypocrisy.

Despite what the religious want the world to believe, Jesus didn't come to make the ungodly godly. On the contrary, he came to make the religious un-religious. He came to transform the religious-minded person from a hypocrite into a light of love in the world. It's only after one dies to their religious mindset and worldview, with all the judgments, pointing fingers and lists of laws and regulations that frame it, that one can truly become alive to Jesus' radical message of love and grace. It's only then one can actually come to understand the true heart of God.

This new way, where we leave behind religious affiliations to enter into a new divine reality, is not bound to a message that begins and ends in words and written codes; rather, it is a spiritual reality that transcends words. It's a message that doesn't come alive in the form of letters, but through the indwelling of God's Spirit within us. It moves us beyond the theory of love religion offers, into a living and active love that permeates every part of our life.

Religion is a love affair with information, yet Christ came to offer a different kind of love affair. It's not one that revolves around information. This love revolves around life, around living and loving, and around letting go of the religious desire to be 'right' and accuse others of being 'wrong.' This love invites us to get busy living a new way of life, where judging between right and wrong is taken out of our hands, and those judgments are tossed away, to become scattered in the dust behind us. Instead of judgment, we take hold of grace, mercy, and love fully, both for ourselves and for others, with reckless abandonment.

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The Pharisees spent a great deal of their time pointing the finger at others and accusing them of a 'lifestyle of sin' while thinking of themselves as the defenders of God's truth. The very last thing they expected was for God's Messiah to come along and do the exact same thing to them, accusing them of a lifestyle of hypocrisy, and doing so while befriending the very people they so loudly condemned.

The Pharisees were known for publicly calling out people as sinners, for pointing out lifestyles as ungodly. Even today certain believers do this. Yet it's significant to recognize that Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to 'go and sin no more' privately, not publicly. It was a personal conversation not a public announcement, and this private conversation happened only after he had publicly defended her against all the religious people accusing her with stones in their hands and hatred in their hearts.

I believe this shows us that if a believer is not willing to stand up to defend and take the side for anyone who is being harassed and accused of 'a sinful lifestyle' by the religious crowd, they also then have no right to think they can tell anyone to 'go and sin no more'. Also, it is significant to realize that Jesus said this not as a demand, but a word of encouragement to the woman. She saw by his actions that not only did he not condemn her, but he also revealed that he thought it was wrong of others to judge her also. She received a revelation that no one had the right to judge her, and if they did, they would find themselves up against Jesus himself. After experiencing this act of non-judgement, of pure grace, only then did those words, 'go and sin no more' take on a new and empowering meaning for her.

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The gospel shows us how Jesus is on the side of anyone who is being judged by another. This means that if we look at someone and in our hearts judge them, then we'll find ourselves going up against Jesus who will be defending them. It is not to say Jesus condones their actions, but rather that he refuses to allow anyone the right to play God, for only God has the right to judge.

Jesus was nothing like the Messiah the Pharisees expected. Not then, and not now. The Pharisees wanted a Messiah that endorsed their judgmental hearts and cold public shaming sessions of those whom they deemed sinners. Instead, they were confronted with a Messiah who was not a condemner of sinners, but an authentic friend of theirs. He didn't separate himself from them, but rather enjoyed their company and ate and drank with them. The Messiah wasn't at all what the Pharisees expected him to be, but he is who he is; and Jesus will keep defending those who the religious want to condemn. Jesus will keep loving. And whenever a judgmental finger is pointed at someone with the intention to condemn them, Jesus will be right there pointing his finger back and asking: "Who are you, o man, to judge?"

You can connect with Mick on his facebook page and also view a list of his books on amazon.